Saturday Special

The real voyage in discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes – Marcel Proust

Discovery of the Land, mural, Hispanic Division, Library of Congress.

I went to RWAC‘s annual day-long workshop – my second in as many years. I have learned alot about writing in my first year since I started with this fabulous, supportive group of writers, and I learned a few more things today. Here is the dime store tour:

  1. Website design – why it matters, what it costs and how to do it. I don’t know if I’m ready for full fledged website yet, but this has me thinking about my online presence.
  2. That there is no such thing as wasted words. They count. They are practice. That I can describe the air conditioning in a room, the clouds racing across the sky. And two minutes can be the start of many a good storyline.
  3. To juggle the push and pull of attraction and conflict between characters, and how to do it so it doesn’t sound like a broken record throughout the book. And how, once again, Jane Austen is truly a master of this.
  4. The power of images and sound to create a feeling that will resonate for both the writer and the reader. And that author Jennie Marsland has the sweetest voice known to man, and if she doesn’t record that voice of hers, it will be a shame. Get to her website and when she loads the trailer for her second book in the Wallace Flats series, McShannon’s Heart – watch it. I dare you not to be moved.
  5. That you never know who is reading your blog, and the power of collective minds tackling a problem.

I also learned this week, as I tackled chapter seven, that I think my GMC was still in chapter seven, but it was buried with too much stuff. I rewrote one small scene and cut out huge chunks that really slowed it down. I haven’t finished it, but I think thus far it’s much strong. Only time – and my CP – will tell:)

One other note – I was privileged to attend the book launch of Damaged, by RWAC’s own Pamela Callow. What a writer! Her dedication (not to mention her talent) is inspiring. It was a wonderful evening down at the old Carleton Hotel in Halifax. Halifax is my home town, and I hope Pam’s book will allow this great city (and other Canadian locations) to get their due time in front of a wider audience

I’m heading over to my Occasional Series pages and giving them an update. I often daydream about my writing while I’m walking my dog, so last week (on one of the few nights it wasn’t pouring) I took my camera along and took a few pictures. Come on over and take a look.

Hope you are all having a great writing week…and remember, there are no wasted words!

8 comments to Saturday Special

  • Janet

    Wish I could have been at the workshop, Michelle – but not to be. Sounds like it was worth every minute – great presenters, great inspiration.

    Off to check out your page and look at the pictures. Way to go on Chapter Seven! And have a great week :)

  • Janet

    Should have gone there first, then I wouldn't be adding another comment.

    Great pics – very similar to my walk with my dog (horses, river, beautiful landscape – and we have a pasture of cows, too). I love your front door :)

  • Michelle Helliwell

    Thanks Janet! Leave as many comments as you like:)

    I love my front door two – my husband's inspiration after telling him I always wanted a lime green door. Some of the neighbours call it the 'jelly bean door'.

  • Annette Gallant

    It was great getting to see you twice in one week, Michelle. Between Pam's book launch and yesterday's meeting, we definitely ended things before the break on a high note.

    You live in a beautiful spot. It's no wonder you take your camera with you on walks. Love that front door! Mine is a boring white, but I think I should jazz it up this year.

    Happy writing/revising this week!

    (Umm, that was me who deleted the previous comment. Realized I had a typo and the writer in me needed to fix it!)

  • Anne MacFarlane

    Your front door looks warm and inviting and I jumped over to enjoy your walk with your dog.

  • Julia Smith

    Thanks for taking us along on your walk – love the horses wandering through your property!

    Also love the art work at the top of your post, and the quote.

    What an amazing weekend for our writers' group! And just to let you know, that guy sent me pictures of the man we've been wondering about for 26 years – so we've seen him at long last!!! Still attempting to make contact. Will keep you posted.

  • Jennie Marsland

    The all-day session was a gem, wasn't it? So inspiring. Problem is, I 'should' be working on my children's novel but I dove into Nathan's story yesterday instead. Well, writing is writing, right?
    As for the music, I've been slowly and painfully picking up my guitar again after a long writing-induced layoff. Once my calluses are back it'll be easier.

  • Kelly Boyce

    Great recap of a wonderful day! I love the June workshops. They're always so inspiring.

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